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McDuff on Selling Remotely

Quebec-based NTSC member William McDuff on selling stamps via the NTSC Sales Circuit

As a child William collected but put it aside till 1980-1990 when he and his wife were
William McDuff - North Toronto Stamp Club - Remote Sales Circuit seller
"fairly intensely collecting" for about 15 years or so.

Again, it got put aside for work, until they both reached "retirement mode" where he says they're keeping busy and getting back into it in their sixties. Nowadays, they are in transition between collecting and selling their excess which helps subsidize their collecting, after-all most collectors "are not born million

Collecting interests range from Scandinavia, Baltic States, birds, land transportation, aviation, ships, lighthouses, and bridges. 

Why Sell Stamp

Due to the nature of buying a single stamp or a set of stamps, either mint or used, one can pay a pretty high percentage of the catalogue price plus the recent high S&H fees, he adds.

What the McDuffs sell in the NTSC circuit books, primarily are surplus stamps from bulk lots or high-quality mixtures, which they find online,
and keep the few needed for the aforementioned topics. 

The Challenges

Brick and mortar stores are disappearing from the retail landscape leaving the internet, pretty much, the only game in town.

The downside for collectors not involved with computers is that they're left out of the loop.  There's no new Mom-and-Pop shops, owing to death and retirement mostly. Plus, there's not enough monetary return, for the effort put into running a shop, for the kids and grand-kids of the shopkeepers.

Montreal Olympic Stadium on Wallis & Futuna
McDuff found that being in Quebec, selling his stamp surplus monthly via La Fédération québécoise de Philatélie at the Olympic Stadium, was rather limited as most francophones are interested in buying Canada or France material. There was scant market for his Scandinavia and British Commonwealth material.

At the club level, the disconnect of older non-computer savvy, plus the language issue, many are uncomfortable with the primarily English web.  

Selling surplus stamps via the APS across the border was more costly and prohibitive due the two year cycle turnaround. It wasn't rewarding enough especially not knowing what material would even sell, if at all.

North Toronto Stamp Club to the Rescue
Bill did a Google search and the North Toronto Stamp Club popped up right away.  There was the immediate appeal of our club being involved on the internet side of things both with Facebook and the website. 

"The demographics of stamp collecting, let's face it, is going south because of the internet, kids are on their cell phones and texting, collecting in general has become 'kind
Homer Simpson:  Is That Thing Still Around?
of dinosaur stuff' unless you evolve with the times." 

The Internet? Is that thing still around?

The internet is the way of the future, whether we like it or not.  With varied interests, Bill enjoys reading, sports, metal detecting in parks and on beaches. Being no stranger to the Canadian Metal Detecting Forum he's made lots of acquaintances around the world due to the world wide web. 

Bill asked about the age demographics of the North Toronto club, which comprises of a lower number of collectors in their 30's to 50's. Reflecting back on the Career-Family scenario, many people between say 20 and 40, raise kids and put bread on the table. Time and money for a hobby just wouldn't be there, he explained.
Queen Victoria Jubilee 20 cent

As a serious collector of bird topicals, British Commonwealth and Canada MNH, we all bump into our reasonable limits for a single stamp, the 20c QV Jubilee for example. Offsetting those kind of costs with circuit book sales just makes sense.

Overall, even though he's remote, McDuff prefers selling through the NTSC Sales Circuit books because of the demand for his stamps and quick payout turnaround time. 

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